Ethernet splitters and switches are a necessity in certain cases where you need to work with multiple wired devices over your network. Be it your home, school, or workspace, managing and delivering the internet access across all your devices isn’t that easy.
This is where ethernet splitters and switches become lifesavers.
With ethernet switches, splitting your internet connection across various devices has never been this easy. They are not only helpful in splitting the connection but also in keeping a smart and robust network at your workspace.
But for assuring all these, you have to be aware of the best ethernet splitters and switches available out there. For helping you out of this trouble, we have decided to write this comprehensive guide on ethernet switches and splitters.
10 Best Ethernet Splitters and Switches to Buy in 2020
You can go through the article to get to know about some of the common types of Ethernet switches and splitters, the features they share and resemble as well as the best ones available in the market to buy right away.
So without wasting any more time, let’s get into it.
What is an Ethernet Switch?
An ethernet switch is a simple electronic device that helps in sharing your ethernet connection across various devices. They are highly helpful in cases where you need to set up multiple wired connections from a single ethernet cable. In case of total connections, you can find ethernet switches starting from as low as 4 to 6 ethernet ports.
Things to Consider before buying an Ethernet Switch
Here are a couple of things you should consider before buying an ethernet switch.
Number of Ports
First thing first, make sure you are getting one with enough ports for your requirement. In case you are getting one for your home, you will be good to go with 4 to 8 ports whereas a larger number of ports will be required for small businesses and workspaces. For your ease, we have listed our best picks based on the number of ports they host.
Well, the maximum supported speeds too matter. You can find ethernet switches priced at different ranges even though they share the same number of ports and similar features. This is mainly because of the variation in the maximum speed supported at their ether ethernet ports. Our market is mostly filled with switches of two different speeds. Specifically Gigabit ethernet switches and regular 100Mbps switches. While the regular ones support 10Mbps and 100Mbps connections, the Gigabit Ethernet switches support up to 1000Mbps. So it is highly recommended to go with the Gigabit supported one if you are having a Gigabit ethernet connection at your home.
Managed or Unmanaged
Managed and Unmanaged, what are they? Well, the difference is simple. These are basically the two types of switches you can find in the market. A managed switch is an ethernet switch with configuration options whereas an unmanaged switch is a plug and play device.
You will mostly require an unmanaged switch for your home and office networks unless you have a great number of systems and traffic to deal with. Unmanaged switches need not be configured anyway. All you gotta do is plug the device in and you are good to go.
Whereas a managed switch can be configured in a lot of ways using its web-based interface, where you can adjust several settings, configure security, optimize speeds, etc. These are mostly used by bigger organizations and are configured and managed by a network manager.
What is an Ethernet Splitter?
Ethernet splitters are small gizmos which mainly come in pairs and house three ethernet ports on each piece. The important thing to note here is that, unlike switches, an ether splitter cannot divide your ethernet connection across multiple devices. Instead, they help in cases where you need to get rid of ethernet cables that are messing around.
With that being said, you can also find ethernet splitters in some other form, where you can switch the connection back and forth between two devices connected to a single ethernet cable.
Things to Consider before buying an Ethernet Splitters
As you have just read, ethernet splitters aren’t an ideal product if you are looking to split your wired connection for multiple devices. You will either require two different connections or an additional ethernet switch to do so.
That said, you can find some ethernet splitters with multiple ports, but be aware of the fact that they cannot split your connection, instead, you can switch between and use one of the devices at a time.
Although ethernet splitters are helpful in certain cases, you will probably require an ethernet switch most of the time. So let us take a look at some of the best ethernet switches to buy in 2020.
Best Ethernet Splitters and Switches – (5 Port 100Mbps)
These are switches with 5 ethernet ports and a supported speed up to 100Mbps.
1. TP-Link TL-SF1005D 5-Port 10/100Mbps Desktop Switch
When it comes to network devices, TP-Link has got some awesome products on an affordable price range. The TP-Link TL-SF1005D is one of our best picks when considering affordable ethernet switches. This has got almost everything required for an ideal ethernet switch for homes and small workspaces with internet speed up to 100Mbps.
It houses a total of 5 ethernet ports arranged on its back, which can be split into 4 different connections. Well if you are thinking why not 5 connections because you have to use one of the 5 ports as an input port and the rest 4 ports for the output.
In the case of design, this one looks totally cool and is available in white and grey colors. It is made of plastic and is durable enough for long runs. As soon as the device is unboxed, all you gotta do is, power up the device and plug the ethernet cables in.
The dedicated LEDs on the front helps in detecting which all ports are active and inactive at the moment. Moreover, setting up and managing the device is way hassle-free compared to many other ethernet switches in the market.
Note: In case you need more ports to take a look at the TP-Link TL-SF1008D
2. D-Link DES-1005C 10/100 Network Switch
The D-Link DES-1005C is a 5 port ethernet switch which is quite similar to the TP-Link TL-SF1005D in case of specs as well as looks.
You can connect up to 5 ethernet devices on its back and share your connection across 4 new different devices without any configurations or tweaking needed. Each port is supported to deliver an internet speed up to 200Mbps.
The device is made of plastic and is very small in size compared to most of the other 5 port switches available. That said, it does host LED indicators for each of the ports. With the LED indicators, you can easily distinguish between active and inactive ports.
It is priced under Rs.550 on Amazon, which makes it one of the most affordable 5 port ethernet switches you can find in the market. Overall, the D-Link DES-1005C would be the cheapest ethernet switch you can get for your home or small workspace network.
Best Ethernet Splitters and Switches – (8 Port Gigabit)
If you are having a Gigabit(1000Mbps) Ethernet connection, make sure to leave the above two switches and look for one which supports Gigabit(1000Mbps) connections. Here are two of the best 8 port Gigabit ethernet switches which you can buy right now.
1. Mercusys MS108G 8-Ports 10/100/1,000 Mbps Desktop Switch
This is an unmanaged Ethernet switch from Mercusys with 8 ports on top. Unlike our first two recommendations, this one has 3 more ethernet ports with a supported network speed up to 1000Mbps.
The design part of the Mercusys MS108G is so cool that it looks like a gamers edition network switch with an awesome red and black matte finish. It can easily fit anywhere near your current setup without consuming much space as the design is so compact. You can easily split your internet across seven different devices like 4k TVs, gaming consoles, printers, and more.
The only thing which seems to be missing here is the LED indicators. But still, the Mercusys MS108G is a great option for homes and offices with a couple more devices than the smaller 5 port ethernet switches. You can check the product using the link below.
2. Netgear GS608 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
You must have already seen Netgear network devices on search results for various queries. Indeed they produce some of the best network products in the market and one among them is the Netgear GS608 Ethernet switch.
This one is an 8-port unmanaged switch suitable for homes and offices with limited devices. It can integrate devices with 10Mbps to 1000Mbps devices on the same network without any hassle. You can verify the connection status of each connected device using the status LEDs present on the front face of the switch.
It has a slight and fanless design which keeps the device small in size and less noisy in time of operation. Overall, the Netgear GS608 is a perfect pick for an 8 port gigabit switch suitable for your home as well as a small business place.
Best Ethernet Splitters & Switches – (16 Port)
Below are ethernet switches with a total of 16 ports. These are highly preferred when you need to split your connection across more than 8 ports. While the port numbers will be the same, maximum network speed may vary according to their price range.
1. TP-Link TL-SF1016D 16 Ports 100Mbps Switch
No doubt TP-Link has got some amazing ethernet switches in various categories, here is yet another recommendation from our side. This time, it is a 16 ports ethernet switch which comes at a very affordable price range.
The TL-SF1016D can split your ethernet connection across 15 new devices at the same time. These are well suitable for medium businesses, computer labs, and homes with 100Mbps ethernet connection.
As always, there are LED indicators on front for each port beside the TP-Link branding. And although it has a total of 16 ports, you don’t have to configure anything here. Just plug the device in and start playing with it.
2. D-Link DGS-1016A 16-Port Gigabit Switch
While the TP-Link TL-SF1016D was a 16 port switch with connection speed up to 100Mbps, this one from D-Link is a 16-port Gigabit switch that supports connection speed up to 1000Mbps.
The D-Link DGS-1016A is yet another 16 port ethernet switch similar to the one we discussed above. But if you are having a Gigabit ethernet connection at your workplace, this is the one you should go with.
On the front, you get 16 LED indicators and a power indicator that shows the real-time status of each port. With all these specs, you can still find the device looking so slim and sleek. The price might seem a bit higher compared to the one which we discussed above as we are getting Gigabit ethernet support with the D-Link DGS-1016A.
Best Ethernet Splitters & Switches – (24 Ports)
Here are two of the best ethernet switches with a total of 24 ports.
1. Cisco 24 Port Gigabit Switch
If you are looking for an ideal ethernet switch for your small business, here goes our first recommendation. The Cisco SG95-24 is a 90 series unmanaged Gigabit switch with 24 ethernet ports and a ton of other features out of the box.
As it is an unmanaged switch, you don’t have to spend time setting it up on your network. Once you have plugged in the device you are all ready to share your connection across 23 powerful Gigabit ports.
It can accommodate ethernet devices of any speed, be it 10Mbps, 100Mbps or even 1000Mbps simultaneously without affecting the network speeds of each other. As business places will have different types of devices, this can be pretty helpful.
In the case of the performance, Cisco has designed this Gigabit switch considering every aspect of small businesses. Features like flow control, layer 2 switchings, auto-negotiation, etc are done on point, as a result making this one of the best 24 port Gigabit switches for your business place.
2. D-Link DES-1024C 24-Port 100Mbps Ethernet Switch
Here is yet another 24 port Gigabit switch suitable for small to medium office purposes. Just like the one we discussed above, the D-Link DES-1024C is also an unmanaged 24 port switch but with a maximum supported to speed up to 100Mbps instead of 1000Mbps.
So if you are not having a Gigabit ethernet at your office, you can get this one instead of the Cisco SG95-24 and save some money as well. But be aware that you are compromising some connection speed here.
The physical LED indicators here are placed beside the 24 ethernet ports from which you can determine the connection status. The build quality is exceptional, as a result assuring long runs without any issues. You can check out the D-Link DES-1024 from the link below.
Best Ethernet Splitters
So that was all about some of the best ethernet switches you can find in the market right now. Now as we said earlier, splitters too are helpful in some cases. Well, if you are in need of them, here are a couple of ethernet splitters worth looking at.
1. MT-VIKI 2 Ports Network Splitter
The MT-VIKI 2 port ethernet splitter might look like a smaller version of the above-discussed ethernet switches, but it is not. This is a simple device with which you can switch back and forth between two connections accordingly.
You can find an ethernet port for input and two ports on the opposite side for output connections. Once you have connected your cables in, you can start switching between both of your output devices. Unlike an Ethernet switch, you won’t be able to consume both the devices at the same time.
The buttons on the sides help easily switch the connection between both your devices. Once A is ON, you won’t be able to utilize B and vice versa.
2. Leoie Lan Ethernet Network RJ45 Plug Splitter
This is a 1 to 3 ethernet splitter using which you can turn your single ethernet cable into three new connections. You can connect and use any ethernet devices to this network splitter as it is built to support most ethernet devices.
But just like we said above, this splitter too does not allow you to use all the three different devices at the same time. Even if you have 3 of your device connected, you can only use one at a time. This is one of the reasons why it is priced way lower compared to ethernet switches.
So that’s all about best ethernet splitters and switches. We have covered some of the best products you can go with as well as things to know and consider before buying an ethernet switch. You can choose one according to your budget and needs. Although you might find the 100Mbps switches to be more affordable, you may go with a Gigabit supported one considering the fact of connection upgrades in the future. If you are already using one of these, do let us know your network devices in the comments. Also if you find the article helpful, ensure to share it on your social handles.
1. What is the difference between an Ethernet splitter and a switch?
An ethernet switch is a network device that lets you split your ethernet connection across different nodes. Whereas an ethernet splitter can be used to connect multiple devices but can only support the use of one device at a time.
2. Can I split my Ethernet connection across my computers using an ethernet splitter?
Ethernet splitters will not be helpful in this case. In order to split and share your connection across multiple devices, you will need to use an Ethernet switch instead.
3. What are some of the known brands to consider when buying an ethernet switch?
Netgear, Cisco, D-Link, TP-Link, etc are some of the suggested brands to go with when buying an ethernet switch. You can find their products on Flipkart and Amazon.